Saturday, May 22, 2021

8 Supernatural things only Rogues can do

I made one for Fighters, so why not Rogues too?

Pickpocket Magic Items someone is Wearing
Most magic items have a sort of will or personality all their own. In some games, like 5e D&D, they are actually bound to their users through attunement. Many magic items act as protective elements, or are considered the same as a normal item but "better" in one or more ways. Wouldn't one of the ways something could be better is that it is harder to steal?

For certain items, like rings, ribbons, armor, bracelets, and so on; somebody is usually wearing them to get the effects. Most people would agree stealing a ring off someone's finger is harder then stealing it from a bag they're carrying, plus the magical effect would make a subtle change in magical energy that the victim of the thief would notice. As such, only thieves can steal magic items from people without them feeling it be lost away. Perhaps when they steal away a magic item, they wrap it in a blanket so it can't try to fly back to their owner, or maybe their thievish nature temporarily puts the magic items to sleep.

[2] Enter stealth (again) during Combat
There tends to be rules for this, something like disengage or using a ninja smoke bomb. Basically, you can reengage stealth in combat. Now I'm not saying its impossible to become hidden again, but in any normal fight, especially in most D&D style encounters where there are usually less then 20 people in any given fight, the ability to suddenly slip out behind a pillar and go back to sneaking around to stab somebody in the back is party far fetched.

While of course any fight is chaotic, and people lose track of shit all the time, people in a fight are hyper aware about whats going on, and will naturally break off into groups to fight each person and watch their friend's back. For a fighter or magician, I would say you can't go back into stealth after an ambush, as they already know you're there. But a Rogue maybe could; taking a short route around to flank an enemy, or just ducking underneath general eye-level and then sliding in to stab someone seems to me like it would take a lot of luck and superhuman levels of competence, hence its inclusion here.

[3] Saving throw against Unseen Traps
So depending on what D&D or DIY ruleset you use, some of them have saving throws against traps, and others don't. Some games use a simple chance to activate when you go over the trap, unless you trigger it at a distance with a spell or 10 ft pole or something. Depending on how strict you are, you could say that nobody gets a save against an unseen trap in that, even if you're on edge, you aren't going to know a random poison dart will fly at you or a blade falls from the ceiling.

But Rogues have a sort of supernatural 6th sense for this kind of thing. Maybe when they activate the trap, the tiny differences in air pressure or maybe just their skill with devices gives them a feeling of what's coming next- so they dodge to the left and it just so happens the spikes were coming out of the wall on the right. You could say its supernatural luck, but Rogues are all about dungeon traps in particular, so this one is a magical ability disguised as moxie.

[4] Ninja Jumping
Rogues can jump farther then other characters, but specifically, it's that stereotypical "ninja jump" that floats with downwards momentum. Obviously if you jump on something in real life, it's going to be really loud. Even jumping down onto dirt can be pretty loud too. But ninja jumps are softer, land quieter, meaning you can run over people's rooftops or jump from ledges without making a loud obvious noise that attracts too much attention.

[5] Multiple Ambushes thru the Elements
This is a bit like the Reentering stealth in combat thing, but a bit more specific. You've probably seen a movie or show where something like this happens- a horror movie killer or a ninja/heroic warrior stepping out of fog, smoke, sand, or leaping out of water, attacking and killing an enemy in a group, and then they jump back in to that obscured area, to then pop out again when it gets quiet again later- hunting down their enemies one by one.

Now this is kind of an aesthetic thing, but I actually really like this concept for Rogues. Perhaps you can use this element of the battlefield and reenter stealth every time you make a successful attack and kill in one roll from stealth. Failing a sneak attack or attacking a target too tough means you can't go back into stealth from this "element".

[6] Infiltrate a place by posing as a Servant/Squire/Underclass
In a situation where an important person is having a ball or event, and a bunch of servants and the like are there, the actual ability one would have of being able to infiltrate such a place is impossible. See, even in a situation where everyone is busy, all the servants there are going to recognize each other, if at least by silhouette, especially if you consider face and voice. Posing as a guard doesn't really make sense- guards are going to know each other, at least as acquaintances.

However, a Rogue can bypass this. Perhaps their ability to sneak and general charisma let others just 'skip' over them subconsciously, or perhaps they have some kind of supernatural luck to go with their sneaking skills. Rogues just have "that" type of face and body type where people just gloss over it- oh it's that new guy, who just happens to look and sound like the Rogue, and just doesn't say much letting the Rogue get away with his not too well thought out plan.

[7] Climb Sheer Surfaces
Arguably already a supernatural skill that D&D gave them through the skill. However, if you have a totally smooth surface, like a giant crystal or wall made of glass, or an especially smooth bit of stone or concrete, there is no way any normal person could climb out without a tool. There's no place to get a grip! But Rogues don't have this issue. Their hands can stick to the wall, perhaps a bit like a gecko, letting them climb out on any surface.

[8] Escape Afterlife/Cosmic Realms
Alternate dimensions or cosmic planes are common in some tabletop settings. However, without magic spells or the powers of the gods or spirits that can transverse these realms; any mortal sent to one would become stranded. The exception are Rogues. By using their incredible abilities of luck and perseverance, they can somehow manage to return from a prison dimension or other realm meant to trap and ensnare them for good.

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